"Qui sont ces turcs qui frappent aux portes de l'Union europeenne?" (Pehmeäkantinen kirja)

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European identity often appears in academic research and in everyday language, but it still remains ambiguous what it actually means and how it is formed. This study examines the construction, manifestation and content of European identity through the means of empiric discourse analysis.

The corpus is composed of texts on Turkey's EU membership process in Finnish and French daily newspapers (Le Figaro, Le Monde, Helsingin Sanomat, Aamulehti) in four distinct periods in 2004-2009. Turkey's potential membership forms a special context for the construction of European identity: Turkey has occupied the role of Other in European history and otherness is considered an integral component of collective identities.

The main hypothesis is that the corpus reveals a discourse of European identity, which is grounded on Turkey's otherness. In this study, discourse is defined as a version of reality constructed in language use, which constructs social reality. The aim of the study is to find out how and with what sorts of linguistic tools is the identity constructed in discourse. A comparative corpus is meant to investigate if there can be found one, cohesive discourse or if it was more accurate to talk about discourses and identities in plural.

The theoretical framework of this research is composed of three elements. Discourses manifest themselves through language and under the conditions it sets forth. In consequence, the micro-level of the theory is based on linguistic concepts, which compose the foundation for the empirical analysis. In addition to defining the concrete manifestations of discourse - sign, utterance (énoncé) and text -, the description of meaning and concepts related to meaning become essential. I ended up distinguishing a contextually neutral "linguistic meaning" from a "meaning in use", the latter being essential when analyzing discourse: it is linked to context and partially built on connotations and the implicit.

Discourse analysis forms the macro level theory, which allows linking the linguistic analysis to the construction of social reality. Due to the diversity of discourse analysis, it is essential to define the concept of discourse thoroughly. In this study it is used in two meanings. The object of research is a discourse of European identity, which is defined as a specific way of conceptualizing and constructing the social reality in language use: meanings and concepts are defined from a specific ideological point of view. Ideology may become naturalized in discourse as "knowledge", the implicit holding an essential role in this process. On the other hand, the concept of discourse is also used as a tool of classification when referring to the discourse type of the corpus as journalistic discourse, which then divides into different genres. Journalistic discourse and genre help to describe the corpus and the context in which the texts are produced and interpreted.

The third theoretical aspect is formed by identity and otherness, which not only describe the socio-cultural context of the object of research and the corpus but also outline what is analyzed in corpus. In this study identity is seen from a poststructuralist point of view as a constantly changing phenomenon constructed in discourse and based on difference, which adapts individuals' thinking and action. No given "criteria" is designated to European identity: instead, the point is to describe the contents that have been produced and which form part of the context of discourse. It is the discourse that defines the (dominating) criteria for the identity.

The linguistic categories, which rise in the corpus as particularly significant in the discourse of European identity are the participant and process types manifesting categorization, metaphors and implicit. However, the implicit is not analyzed apart because it is often difficult to pin down in text and it is essentially intertwined w
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